British Ambassador to Iran Rob Macaire was temporarily arrested on Saturday evening amid the ongoing anti-regime protests in Tehran in the wake of the Iranian Guards' 'unintentional' downing of a Ukrainian plane last week that killed 176 people on board, the country's Tasnim news agency reported.
The agency said that Macaire was attempting "to organise, instigate and direct some radical and destructive action."
Reports on social media also indicated that the envoy may have been taking photographs of the protest, Times of Israel reported.
The state media further said that Macair was released after several hours but could be summoned later for further questioning.
Meanwhile, the British government reacted over the development with outrage. "The arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law," said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
Raab added that the Iranian government was "at a crossroads moment. It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to deescalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forward."
Thousands of people gathered in the Iranian capital on Saturday to stage protest after the regime admitted to having accidentally shot down a Boeing plane on early Wednesday, hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on two military bases housing US troops in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in an American airstrike in Baghdad.
Dozens of those who died in the plane crash were young Iranian students travelling to their studies in Canada.
Police dispersed the protesters with tear gas, according to reports and videos on social media. There were also reports of numerous arrests.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)